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Popular cars without luxury due to the chip crisis


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Paid a crunch Electronic chips Many acute cars companies Global to abandon the provision of services that used to distinguish its vehicles with technology and luxury, which has always been the subject of competition between producers over the past years.

Global car manufacturers have been affected by a deficit in the chips (semiconductors) used in managing engines and driver assistance systems, which come mainly from Asia, especially Taiwan, where the crisis has affected most of the car producers in Europe and the United States and even China and South Korea.

And when car companies were affected for the first time by the chip shortage at the end of last year 2020, they resorted to disrupting factories, which was reflected in production levels, but with the entry of the crisis in its fifth month this year, and its worsening, companies try to keep up with reality to preserve at least some of their production. But at the expense of luxury on many models.

Nissan, the Japanese auto giant, has abandoned the installation of navigation systems in thousands of vehicles that usually contain them due to the lack of chips, according to a report by Bloomberg of America, and the American Ram company no longer provides 1500 pickup trucks. Smart background that monitors blind spots.

And French “Renault” also stopped installing large-sized digital screens behind the steering wheel in its Arkana SUV to provide the chips.

The chip crisis resulted from the Coronavirus pandemic, which caused an increase in demand for chips used in the production of smartphones, televisions, and computers, whose sales increased during the global lockdown, and many people were forced to stay at home and work remotely.

At a time when auto parts suppliers realized late that they were running out of large quantities of microprocessors needed for every car, chipmakers have been busy making equipment for mobile phones, game consoles, and computers that shoppers have been madly buying since the start of the Corona pandemic.

And the supply problems in the auto industry began to appear a few days before the end of last December, when the German company “Volkswagen” announced that it was preparing to halt production due to a shortage of chips. After that, other companies’ announcements quickly surfaced about their exposure to the same crisis.

The crisis is a historic test for the auto sector, as it tries to accelerate the shift towards smart electric cars, while companies have for decades continued to add more advanced and better features, but now they are abandoning some of them, at least temporarily, to save their sales.

And earlier this May, the German company BMW, the Japanese Honda, and the American-Chinese Ford warned of the exacerbation of problems due to the lack of electronic chips.

The failure to secure essential supplies represents a massive setback in the short term, with millions of vehicles lost in sales this year, and bodes ill for a future of intense competition between high-tech Internet companies and consumer electronics companies.

Stacy Rasgon, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein, an international economic studies organization headquartered in New York, predicted that the crisis would last longer until the production capacity of chipmakers increased.

In the context, Mark Liu, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, said in an interview with “CBC” recently that his company, which is the largest in the world, will start meeting the minimum requirements of car customers by next June, but he expected The car chip shortage will continue until early 2022.

But automakers simply could not wait, and their reaction was to allocate rare components to the most profitable and best-selling vehicles at the expense of other models, something that companies like Renault and Nissan are doing.

Car companies are also making vehicles with less technology, and French Peugeot is returning to the old analog speedometers in the 308 hatchback, instead of using digital versions that need hard-to-find chips.

The American company “General Motors” also revealed that it had manufactured some “Chevrolet Silverado” trucks without a specific unit for fuel economy, which cost drivers about one mile per gallon, and Nissan reduced its production of vehicles equipped with pre-installed navigation systems by a third. According to a source familiar with the matter.

A source said that the Japanese company, which was one of the first car makers to warn at the beginning of last January, about the lack of directing its supply of chips to the two best-selling models in every major market, and in one of the stops, Nissan transferred the chips from its factory in India to The United States is on a chartered cargo flight to keep production running, while a representative for the Japanese company declined to comment, according to Bloomberg.

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